Flammable When Wet: Hyundai Recalls Over 90,000 Electric Vehicles

By: | March 19th, 2024

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

Hyundai Genesis owners should be extra careful when parking their cars close to flammable structures or items. This is the message most owners got from the reported “thermal incidents” confirmed by Hyundai and reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in regards to the vehicle’s starter solenoid igniting internal fires.

As a result of the fire hazard, Hyundai has already started recalling over 90 thousand Genesis vehicles. Those owning a 2015-2016 Genesis, 2017-2019 Genesis G80 and G90, and 2019 Genesis G70 should confirm if their vehicle is on the recall list.

The incidents confirmed by Hyundai took place between September 29th, 2017, and July 9th, 2023 in the United States. The incidents were caused by water entering the electric vehicles’ starter solenoid when driving under “abnormally wet conditions”, which resulted in an electrical short.

As a result, the entirety of the engine compartment could be compromised and ignited without the vehicle even having to be on. While no one has crashed or been injured as a result of the incidents so far, these fires often caused smoke, burning odor resulting from melting components, and problems when turning the engine.

The NHTSA estimated that 1% of all vehicles had this defect and, while owners can continue to drive them, recommended waiting until the recall is completed. Users affected by the recall won’t incur any expenses, even if not covered by their original warranty, as Hyundai will be reimbursing any out-of-pocket expenses related to the remedy of the recall conditions.

Affected users will be notified by Hyundai by Apr 13, 2024, informing them which dealers will be in charge. Once recalled, vehicles will have a free remedy relay kit installed in the engine junction box. The recall condition was already corrected by Hyundai starting on January 23, 2019, when a protective boot was added during production.

The recent incidents with certain Hyundai Genesis models have raised valid safety concerns and criticism toward electric vehicles. However, automakers like Hyundai are continuously working to identify and resolve issues to make electric vehicles safer, especially given the increasing demand.

Ashton Henning

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